I failed at my 5 1/2 year relationship...how do i accept that?
I ended my 5 1/2 year relationship a little over a year ago and am now wanting to grieve and don't know how. The first couple of years were amazing and all of our friends envied our relationship. We started dating in high school, he was the guy I was never supposed to be with. He was very charismatic and everyone loved him, but knew not to date him, I thought I was smarter than that... I gave him a chance, knowing who he was already, a liar and, well, a player, thinking I could help mold him into the guy that I ,still, know he can be. Instead I went from being a very independent girl to a very submissive woman before I even knew it. I couldn't tell I was changing right away, but my family and friends could. I fell in love with him. I know people might say it was lust or "puppy love" or whatever, but I know he was my first love, whether it was healthy or not, he was the guy I went to prom with, lost my virginity to, took to meet all of my family.... We got engaged for our one year anniversary while I was away at college, just because he thought it would make guys stop hitting on me, we lived about 2 hours away from each other at this point. I had NO freshman year, it was all spent talking with him on the phone, going to bed, going to class, then going to spend the weekends with him. After my freshman year we decided that we would move in together and I would take a semester off and transfer to the college that was located near him. I soon realized he was very much about how ppl perceived him. He let everyone believe he was in college when he wasn't just so he looked better and things like that. Us moving in together was his first time being on his own and not having his parents pay for everything for him so it was very difficult to teach him about life and money. I quickly became his mother, which in turn, also makes me feel like I've failed at raising a child as bad as that sounds. He thought CC were free money and opened a couple in my name and one in his then maxed them out. I eventually payed his off before we broke up, of course, but not mine. A year later I decided to move back in with my parents to help them out and I co-signed for an apt for my ex and his friend, to which I now owe a lot of money to the apt complex for damages they did. He could be verbally abusive and made me feel completely guilty when I accused him of lying about anything, even if i had caught him or had proof, he'd somehow convince me I was a terrible person for not trusting him. The last 2 years of our relationship, I supported him fully. I had moved back in with him and he lost his job. I was working 2 jobs and going to school while he sat at home playing video games. It was extremely difficult but I didn't want to give up, because I know that relationships are supposed to be about hard work and sticking by each other in good and bad, which is why I feel like a failure. I eventually got a new job and got my own friends who wanted to hang out with me, not ones who wanted to hang out with him because he was so fun and I was just his girl. Our relationship started to suffer really bad because I started getting my independent personality back, since I was the one supporting him, and he didn't like that. He hated that I hung out with friends rather than coming home and sitting with him while he played video games. I also started getting attention from other guys who were actually nice to me and paid me attention which played into me detaching myself from my ex. Eventually I caught him in some lie and used it as my final excuse to break up with him. After a week of, grieving i guess, I decided that him and I could still be friends, because he was still my best friend even with everything that had happened. We stayed friends for a little over a year after our break up until I finally realized, with the help of some great friends, that even as my friend, he tried isolating me and would play mental games with me that caused me not to be able to have other healthy relationships, so I finally ended our friendship after a nasty fight we had. In all hind-sight, I stayed friends with him so i could still have him my life because I had hoped he would want to change for me to try and be with me, but it wasn't like that at all. However, in that process, I stopped my grieving process and became friends with him so I wouldn't have to except the end of my relationship and I could still hold on to our life we had planned together, or to the guy i fell in love with. To clarify, the guy I broke up with was not the guy I fell in love with a few years prior, he had changed a lot. My problem is, he just got a new girlfriend, which means I need to be ready to accept that it's over or it's going to keep interfering with the relationships I keep trying to build. I'm always so depressed on the inside, but I don't show it because I'm afraid if I start this grieving process its a sign of weakness and vulnerability, and I hate seeming weak. It's just been so long since it's happened, and it's messed me up so bad not to have grieved that I don't know how to start, or if it even might seem stupid to start grieving this long after wards. If anyone has any advice for me on how to start working through this, please help.